Sunday, January 29, 2012

How Do You Gu?

Training time is here again. I always get excited when those words pop into my head, or I say them out loud to no one in particular, well maybe the dog. I become giddy at the thought of turning myself inside out and collapsing in the front yard like a sack of taters after going a little harder than I should of. I've been so sloth-like this winter, I'm seriously craving intervals (I know, I gasped when I typed it), hill repeats, and long weekend rides that make you question your sanity. I love the planning aspect too, dieting, training plans, mandatory recovery time (always a good excuse to use my parents jacuzzi and freezing ass cold pool). I need a little structure in my daily routine and this is just what I need. Bring it on bitch.
Since I'm in planning mode today I went through the energy bar/gel/snack section of our kitchen cabinet. I saw my favorites on top of the heap, but then I came across the nasty tasting ones on the bottom. I can't pass up free SWAG at events so that's how I end up with them a lot of the time. Their expiration date is coming up and I don't want to waste them so I'm saving them for pre-gym energy. Maybe I'll need some extra energy for cleaning the house, that'll work right? Whatever the case I don't want to take them on the bike because they cause me emotional distress.

I created a chart of some sort separating gels and energy food into groups. I got my favorites listed and of course the nasty ones that make me furious because I bought more than one or got greedy and grabbed 3-4 free ones at random cycling events. I know everybody has different taste, that's for sure, or else everything would be mint flavored, at least if I had my way.
POWERBAR- Kona Punch, Green apple
GU- Vanilla bean, Chocolate outrage, Mint chocolate

GU- Peanut butter
(haven't tried it yet, kind of scared)

HAMMER- Chocolate

GU: Jet blackberry, Strawberry banana
POWERBAR: Raspberry cream

CLIF: shot blocks, all flavors thumbs up
POWERBAR: Chocolate energy bites
(easy to eat and nummy)

HONEY STINGER: Energy chews,
leave a pasty coating in mouth


weird after-taste in mouth
Strawberry, I burped strawberries
for an hour after eating, I called them
Berry Burps

I love powerbars for pre-ride fuel about 2 hours before I head out on long rides. I go with the basics, chocolate, banana, and vanilla crisp. They're easy to choke down and don't cause belly issues. Clif bars are another go to for pre-ride and during rides over 40 miles.

So there you go, that's my two cents. I'm sure you have your own favorites, but if you have a favorite gel or bar other than the ones here let me know, I'm always looking for new flavors.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

T-shirt Issues

Speaking of t-shirts: new designs available on the FreeBird Velo Etsy shop.

I have a confession to make.

I have a sick obsession with t-shirts. I've had this problem since I was a teenager. I remember going on vacation with my parents to Hawaii in '91. I had bought so many tees I had to buy a second suitcase to bring them home. I should of known then that I had issues. Over the years it got worse. Nowadays though a great number of my tees have been handed over to Goodwill, but my favorites have a place of honor in my closet and dresser. T-shirts are a way of reminding you and showing others were you've been. It's a way of sharing your beliefs. They're not just advertisements, they're a way to let people know your interests and sometimes a conversation starter. I compiled a list of my Top 5 t-shirts in rotation right now. If the house was on fire I would grab: Hubby, the cat, pups, bikes and these tees. I got my top 5 but I also added some special mentions, they all have a place in my heart.

All time favorite, unfortunate run in with
bleach and taco grease has put it on the bench.
Picked this up at the Rapha shop up
in San Fransisco. I love vintage vans but I love
Citroen's even more. A must have.
A small surf company from Newport beach.
Wearing this shirt is like being hugged by a
giant bunny. Super soft and cuddly.

This one is a given.

New to my line up and a close runner up
for softest tee,
Gage & Desoto/Embrocation.

Runner Ups:

Bought at Heathrow airport. I think they should pass these out as you board the plane. Everybody has one but I like that it reminds me that I need to get back to Europe, soon.

Favorite concert tee. It's in a tie with my old Pixies tee but I wear this one more. This concert was at the Palladium, which was pretty cool, but not as good as seeing them at the Hollywood Bowl where they played with the LA Philharmonic. I still think about that concert, so good.

Picked up on a family ski trip to Breckenridge. I recognized this shop from a photo in Powder magazine, or maybe it was Skiing, I can't remember. Had a cool conversation with the guy inside. The shop is so tiny it can only hold three people, so with him,me, and my Hubby it was a pretty cozy conversation.

Classic tee. Thomas Cambell is an artist/filmaker. This was one of his first movies. He helped create a whole new genre in the surfing world. Surfing everything and anything, being creative, and not being concerned with contest results. Oh, and the tee is super soft too.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Leaving Vegas Empty-handed

Took a trip to Las Vegas this weekend. It was in hopes that my Hubby could pick up a vintage moto at a price too good to be true. Unfortunately the prices were very true and we left empty handed. Hubby felt slightly depressed, and I kind of happy because I can find SWAG at any event. Got a key chain, poster and magazines. Score!
Harley Davidson Board Track Racer
(I never knew they raced motos on the boards,
you learn something new everyday.)
Another Harley Bicycle.
(There were only 5 bicycles being sold, all HD's)
Harley Davidson Early 1920's Bicycle + Light

The rest of the weekend was spent winning, loosing, winning, and loosing. I think I came out ahead though. I have money in my wallet so all is good. My Mom taught me the fine art of lurking for slot machines, so I did learn something useful this weekend. Can't wait to get back in the saddle, need to start putting some miles in these legs 'o mine. Plus I've been dying to use my Rapha rain jacket. I'm ready for some winter weather.

Yep, 1 glass of wine,
nothing but class here.

Friday, January 6, 2012

When is a Bike a Bike

When does a bike become a bike?

I've wondered about this over the past couple of months putting the finishing touches to the new Soma Double Cross. Her lonely frame would sit in the corner, waiting for random UPS deliveries: handlebar, seat post, new headset, a classy leather saddle to make her feel sophisticated, bartape. Every passing week she would get more company in the corner.
This pile of parts was obviously not a bike I thought. Nor are the aisles of brand new bikes that line the LBS's racks. You may think they are but they're not. They are merely soulless vehicles waiting for a home so they can finally realize their purpose in life. Once your booty sits down on that saddle for the first time it becomes a bike (and your credit card is swiped). I say this because I tend to humanize material products. I blame this on my Mom. She has treated her cars like babies my whole life, so it was only a matter of time that I would inherit her kookiness.
So, finally, after ages of waiting the pile of parts was ready to be dropped off at the LBS. When I went to pick it up at the end of the day it was like picking up a new little baby from the bicycle shop nursery. I knew she was going to be a special bike because on the way home there was a full moon. The kind where you expect to see a witch or Elliot and ET flying across. It was then that I agreed upon Mabel as her official name. Actually her name came about because I was kind of hungry and I was thinking about donuts. My favorite is a maple bar, her frame has a similar color to the icing. Also, she's steel and kind of heavy, she's not going to take shit from anything, so Mabel sounded like a big 'ol southern lady. Perfect.

Is it a bike now? Yes, and no. Here are a few things that I do to ensure that my bike knows it is loved, hence, becomes a bike. But first, I suggest that you go over to your bike, bend down next to the handlebar, and whisper (or scream to the heavens if you feel inclined) that you love it and that you appreciate it for everything that it does for you. Doing this after a 5-6 hour ride or after a couple glasses of wine makes it easier for those of you who doubt or are a bit inhibited, or sane.

Here's a list of a few more things that make my bike feel special and loved.

1. Bicycle has to have a name. A well thought out deserving one. One from the heart.
2. All bikes must be used. A bike needs to be ridden. I'm not a 'happy miser.' If a bike is too expensive to ride what the heck are you doing with it?

3. Bike must be in above proper working condition. I like to give my bikes personal attention. They do a lot for me so in return I take care of them. Wash, lube, tune. Doesn't hurt that I enjoy it too. A clean bike is a happy bike.

4. Enjoy the bike. All bikes inspire a smile out of me and should inspire one from you, if not go play tag football or frisbee golf you weirdo. Even in pouring rain or 45 mph winds, I can manage a smile.

That's some special machine.